Friday, October 4, 2013

A vampire in love is a dangerous thing!



Today's Spooktacular Spotlight Author, Jez Strider!

Today she brings us a sample of the start of her Paranormal Romance series, Vamp Life!


 

 Evelyn Angel has a rewarding job, amazing best friend, and a promising love interest. The fact that she's a vampire is lost on those who surround her on a daily basis. 

When a former lover returns and attempts to murder her, the perfect little life she's carefully made for herself is turned upside down. Not only does she have to survive, she has to decide which man she truly loves. 

The past is catching up with her in a deadly way.

She has 5 total books in this series. For more information on those, please visit her at: 
Jez Strider Amazon Page

Sample
“You’re a million miles away, babe.” Marcus said as I stared lost in thought up at the ceiling fan.  His hand slowly coiled around my waist and he pulled me closer against him in the bed. 
Marcus Hart was ruggedly handsome with his jet black hair tucked behind pierced ears.  Whenever he wanted anything, it was hard to say no to his baby blues.  His grandfather had come to America from Cuba and Marc had inherited many of his ancestor’s traits. Those genes mixed with those of his family of European descent combined to give him handsome, unique features.
Often, there was grease underneath his fingernails.  It didn’t bother me.  I admired him for working hard. He was only twenty-two, which was a plus.  The younger they were, the longer they had to live.  My brown wavy hair and dark green eyes complimented his looks.  We were a sexy couple.  Not that I’m saying we were a couple.
The day I’d met him would have stopped me in my tracks even if he hadn’t been bloody and carrying his wounded golden retriever through the front door of my veterinary clinic.  That day I’d saved his best friend’s life and Marc had repaid me many times over since.
I had given a playful yelp and grin when he grabbed me, pretending to fight against his advances. Finally, I gave up and leaned in to kiss his lips.  After a few moments, I broke away.  “Sorry. I have work early tomorrow.  Gonna have to get some sleep.”  With both hands resting against his bare chest, I gave a shove.  He didn’t budge.
After successfully seducing me to compliance with more cuddling and kisses, he climbed out of my king size and into his faded jeans.  My cat, Lucia, immediately hopped into the bed reclaiming her dominion.   “Yeah, I know.  No sleeping over during the work week.  It’s just so hard to resist.”  He said. 
Marcus was right.  It was very hard to resist.  But I’d set my rules and was sticking by them. We walked together to the door.  “Call me tomorrow.  Don’t forget to tell Lewis I said hello.”  Lewis was his dog and he’d healed up nicely in the past couple of months.  The dog’s namesake was Marc’s favorite football player.
“A’ight.”  He’d given me a kiss before heading out.  There were no “I love you’s” …they were against the rules, too. 
I closed the door with a sigh and headed over to my sofa.  It was true that I had work early the next day, although, I’d actually just needed the alone time I had become so accustomed to.  My mind was caught in the past.  It wasn’t uncommon.  Having so many years of memories will do that to you.  I found the playlist on my MP3 player labeled “Fire and Ice” and hit play.  The collection was an album filled with love songs from the 16th century. 
As the music filled my home, I picked up a bottle of nail polish, rolling it between my palms to mix the solution.  I was no longer in modern day, but in Venice during the Renaissance.  The musicians were playing songs in the streets as I was preparing for my night on the town.  My head reclined back as I reveled in the memories of humanity, memories of a world long gone.  I suppose we never really forget where we come from or who we were in our human life.  It’d been many lifetimes since I’d been home, but I found myself wanting to show Marcus.  How ridiculous.   He didn’t even know what I was.
Becoming so immersed in my thoughts was dangerous, but it had been a long time since I’d seen another vampire or felt hunted.  Hiding what I am is relatively easy with all the false superstitions and myths planted in the media.  No one suspects a person is a vampire when they walk around in broad daylight and basically look like a normal human.  I usually just attribute my youth to good genes and lack of sun damage.  Medical research supports the claims on the effects of too much sun.  Besides, I rarely stay in one area longer than about fifteen years.  My early life was hectic, but I’d mostly avoided trouble in recent years.   
I should have known better than to let my guard down.
I leaned up to start painting my toenails when my mind finally returned to the present.  Before I could begin, a gloved hand covered my mouth.  A normal intruder I could have easily bested.  There had been more than one time when I’d been cornered in an alleyway.  Oh no, but this was no normal deviant.  He was stronger… far stronger than I was.   My fangs extended and dug into his hand.  Blood began to trickle from the wounds. Unfortunately, the attacker didn’t seem fazed by the bite.  It had to be another vampire.  My maker, I just knew, had finally found me and was delivering punishment for my rebellion.
The attacker had me pinned on my back and straddled me as I fought with every ounce of strength I had.  The smell of expensive leather assaulted me.  I kept my eyes closed at first, beating my fists against the man.  My last thought before I opened my eyes and saw the other vampire face to face was of thanks.  I was so thankful that I had sent Marcus home when I did. 
When our eyes met, we both stopped.  The look was one frozen in time across vast centuries.   This vampire was not my maker.  I knew him immediately, as if I had kissed him only yesterday.  I knew every inch of this man.  I knew that perpetual tan and short brown hair that curled up slightly on the ends when he went too long without a haircut.  His expression contorted into one of confusion as his amber eyes took in the woman before him.
“Cortigiana…” He whispered in a thick Italian accent, one which I’d learned to disguise long ago.  To a person that didn’t know him, Antonio would have seemed calm.  I could see his inner turmoil and emotion as he pulled me close, inhaling deeply the scent of my hair as he kissed my cheek lightly.  “I…I am sorry, Evelina.  I had no idea you were my target.  That you were even alive!”  He stood suddenly, turning away and unable to face me.
I cleared my throat, not sure what to say as the silence between us grew.  Thoughts swirled like tornados in my mind.  “Dante Sanuto sent you, didn’t he?”  My thoughts were swimming.  I’d already been dwelling on the past, but this…this was the past.  I ran a hand through my hair before glancing toward my former lover.  “Obviously Dante didn’t know about our affair or he wouldn’t have been fool enough to send you to do his dirty work.”  I was furious and scared, but my heart thundered in response to seeing Antonio again.
“For all his insight and wisdom, the Master does not know everything. “ He turned to face me as I stood, walking over to him.  “Perhaps he always knew and this is just a test of my loyalty.”  The wound on his hand was already closing and the bleeding had stopped.  Gently, I rested my hand on his shoulder.  His attack hadn’t done any discernible damage to me.  I was lucky he realized who he was trying to kill when he did.
I laughed at my own foolishness.  “So he tells me you die of the plague before he could save you, his most beloved bodyguard, and I believe it.  I suppose he told you I died with so many of the other prostitutes near the Rialto Bridge.” 
Antonio gave a nod, reaching out his hand to me as he noticed the music of our time.  “I see you have not forgotten where you came from.  Vostu balar co mi?”  I took his hand, accepting the offer to dance.  He’d always shown me his romantic side.
The moment was surreal.  How could I ever explain in words what it’s like to reunite with someone you’ve thought dead for hundreds of years?  I knew he was struggling with the same emotions.  I’d been a great dancer, but it was more like we were holding onto each other in a long embrace.  There was too much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t.  It had been too long since we’d last seen each other.  I just hugged him tighter.
As the song changed, I pulled back slightly.  “You can’t just barge in here, try to kill me, and then dance with me.”  The humor in my tone was evident and he laughed.  If I didn’t stop before it was too late, I’d end up in bed with him for sure and I wasn’t ready for that when it was still warm from my evening with Marcus.
“You…you have not changed fair courtesan.  Does it still get you in trouble?” He shook his head in disbelief.  “And I’m very sorry.  My feelings after seeing you again are a bit overwhelming.” 
“Well, I hadn’t had any trouble in a while.”  I smirked, feeling vulnerable to Antonio and guilty of my thoughts even though Marcus and I weren’t officially exclusive. Marcus!  It suddenly crossed my mind that Antonio could have gotten to him when he left.  “You didn’t hurt the man that was here earlier, did you?”  It took all my effort to make the question come out without my voice quavering.
Antonio gave a small shrug.  “I did not harm your human.  It would have caused too much unwanted attention.”  The tone of his voice held a hint of irritation at the change of topic.  Suddenly, without warning he headed for the window and without looking back said, “I have to figure out what to do.  I’m not happy about crossing Dante.” 
“You can use the…,” before I could finish my sentence he had disappeared.  “Door,” I said into thin air as I walked over to the window and peered into darkness.  Yeah, he had to be overdramatic in his exit.  I rolled my eyes.  After closing the window, I secured the lock and tested it to make sure.  The music was still playing and I shut it off in frustration as I passed by on my way to the bedroom.
There was a painting of Venice on the wall.  Why did I insist on surrounding myself with memories that struck such deep emotions?  Many vampires are sadistic, but not me, I’m just an emotional masochist.  I lifted the painting off the wall and set it aside, revealing a safe.  I put in the code 1576 and pulled open the door.  There were old photos and my journal inside, but the item I was after glinted faintly.  I grabbed the .38, testing the sight as I aimed it at myself in my dresser mirror.  Yes, I said mirror.  Vampires have a reflection.  I made sure the safety was on before putting the weapon in the nightstand drawer beside my bed.  The gun had been used before and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again if I had to.

My cat curled up against me when I climbed into bed. She gave my arm a few licks before falling asleep again.  “This cannot end well.” I mumbled out loud before closing my eyes. My heart ached as I drifted off to distorted dreams.

A Little Face Time With The Author

Jez Strider (1983-Present) is a native of Tennessee. For as long as she can remember, reading has been a big part of her life, taking her out of a sometimes harsh reality to wonderful new worlds. When she was in high school, writing became more prevalent. She worked for three years on the newspaper staff as the Arts and Entertainment editor. After graduation and a few bumps in the road, she enrolled at Penn Foster College with a focus in freelance writing. It took several years before she realized she wanted to give writing a book a shot.
In 2011, she was diagnosed with cancer. That fight and becoming a survivor gave her new insight and motivations toward her goals. With the realization that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, she started work on that elusive book. Vampire's Eve is her first publication.
Today, Jez still resides in Tennessee with her boyfriend, cat, and dog. She is currently working on her next book.


K.S.  Hello, Jez and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.  

My name is Jez Strider and I’ve been publishing for a little over a year. My first book was Vampire’s Eve. I’m an avid reader, gamer, and writer. I live in Tennessee in the town where I was born, though I did live in Chicago, Illinois for a few months and in Virginia Beach, Va for several years.


K.S.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

I have been known to be thinking over a story idea in my mind and kind of space out from time to time. I generally write at night with my headphones on. I’m a writer who thinks about their story, but doesn’t outline it much. I sit down and start typing.

K.S.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

When I first realized I wanted a career in writing I was in high school and recommended to the school newspaper staff. I had the full intention of graduating and becoming a journalist, but things didn’t quite work out that way. Upon learning about self-publishing, I began penning my first book.

K.S.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?

I’m inspired by all the authors whose books I’ve fallen in love with through the years. Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Anne Rice, and Deborah Chester to name a few.


K.S.  What does your family think of your writing?

They’re supportive and awesome. I couldn’t ask for better parents or a significant other.


K.S.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?

I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough ideas, but now the stories won’t stop. I can’t write them fast enough.

K.S.  What inspires you? 

My fans. When someone tells me they enjoyed my book, I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to with my life.

K.S. Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel? 

I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and the era of the courtesan. A courtesan who becomes a vampire seemed a logical step to me. Everything seems to lead to a vampire with me! 

K.S. Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork?
The mansion in the background is her maker’s and I liked that the vampire woman was distressed in front of it.


Jez, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your awesome book, Vampire's Eve (Vamp Life #1) with us!! 

2 comments:

Lorelei said...

Good luck with the books, Jez!

jezstrider said...

Thank you!